First Look: Fujifilm X30

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PRE-ORDERS (and support FR)

Today you can support my work here on Fujirumors. If you choose to pre-order it using one of the shoplinks in this post, FR will get a small commission on it. It won’t cost you a single penny extra on your X30. Thanks in advance to those who decide to support this FR… because it’s your support that keeps this blog running.

Fujifilm X30: USA: BHphoto / Adorama / AmazonUS / BestBuy /   EUROPE: wexUK / wexDE / PCHstore /

LIVE BLOGGING HERE

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First Look: Fujifilm X30

by Rico Pfirstinger

Talk to Rico (open forum for questions & feedback)

Fuji X Secrets Workshops – Rico’s Flickr Sets

The Fujifilm X-E2: Beyond the Manual – Rico’s X30 Sample Images – X30 Specs

[UPDATE: if you want to read this first look in German, click here]

With the release of my new ebook in the X-E2 finally out of the way, I’m happy to preview Fuji’s first “third generation” X camera: the Fujifilm X30. This is a weirdly interesting device: When it comes to features and usability, it is Fuji’s most advanced camera to date, easily leaving the X-E2 and even X-T1 behind. So even if you aren’t interested in buying or using a compact camera with a 2/3″ sensor, this camera is worth a look, as its new features will also appear in future X-series models with larger sensors.

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Click here to access my album of 100 sample images taken with prototype and pre-productions cameras using beta firmware. These samples also include several sets comparing all eleven film simulations.

With the exception of a missing built-in ND filter, this little camera isn’t holding back with features that will please many X enthusiasts.

Here we go: The X30 features the same “real-time”, 2.36 M-dot electronic viewfinder (EVF) as the X-E2 (with only 0.005 seconds display lag), a 920 K-dot tilting LCD (twice the resolution of the X20), a multi-purpose lens control ring that can serve as a focus, aperture or shutter speed ring, a much improved user interface, better WYSIWYG capabilities (what you see is what you get) that include DR200%/DR400% previews, a dedicated RAW shooting mode, fast hybrid tracking AF, improved Instant-AF, multi-point Single-AF, six user-configurable Fn buttons, a fully configurable Quick menu, vastly improved movie/video options with full manual control, a critically improved JPEG engine with a new “Kodak-like” film simulation called Classic Chrome, wireless remote control and Instax printing, interval shooting for time-lapse photography, optional AF frame and spot metering frame coupling, ± 3 EV exposure compensation in manual mode when Auto-ISO is active (“misomatic”), and several more small but welcome improvements that make our life much easier. Phew!

Of course, the X30 is still using the same Fuji-engineered and Toshiba-built 2/3″ X-Trans sensor as its X20 predecessor, so if cameras with a sensor size below 1″ are beneath you, don’t bother reading any further. Or maybe do bother, because everything new that’s described in this preview will also be featured in Fuji’s upcoming APS-C camera models. So on second thought, this may just be the preview you’ve been looking for.

Body and Handling

The X30 is “made in China”, but it certainly doesn’t show. To the contrary, the solid body (with magnesium top and bottom plates and metal dials) has a genuine “premium feel”. For a compact camera, the X30 is pretty heavy, too: it weighs almost as much as the X100S. The F2-2.8 manual zoom lens offers the same 28-112 mm full-frame equivalent as the X20 and features Fuji’s trademark High-Transmittance Electronic Beam Coating (HT-EBC).

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There are six configurable function buttons (video button, four selector buttons and a dedicated Fn button) that can assume any of the following roles:

  • Macro
  • ISO
  • Self-Timer
  • Image Size
  • Image Quality
  • Dynamic Range
  • Film Simulation
  • White Balance
  • AF Mode
  • Focus Area
  • Flash Mode
  • Flash Compensation (FINALLY!)
  • Select Custom Settings
  • Movie
  • Face Detection
  • Intelligent Digital Zoom
  • Preview Pic. Effect (toggle between JPEG and RAW shooter mode)
  • Power Management
  • RAW
  • Wireless Communication

This is plenty to choose from, and as usual, each of the six Fn buttons can quickly be reassigned by simply pressing and holding it for about two seconds.

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The lens control ring can also assume different functions: There’s an “intelligent” context sensitive standard mode, but by pressing the new Rfn button at the front of the camera, you can also use the ring to control other tasks:

  • Continuous Shooting (DRIVE mode)
  • ISO
  • White Balance
  • Film Simulation

However, you will normally want to use the lens control ring to set the camera’s aperture in aperture priority and manual mode, or the shutter speed in shutter priority mode. In manual focus mode, the control ring can be used to focus the lens. Of course, the X30 features focus peaking to assist manual focusing.

There’s a command dial (thumb-wheel) at the back of the camera that can be also depressed to perform additional functions such as zooming into the live view image. As mentioned before, the four selector keys are now Fn buttons, and here it comes: You can configure them to directly change the focus area, so you don’t have to press an AF button first. X-T1 and X-E2 users: Start drooling with envy now!

The X30 can be charged internally via USB (a USB charger and a Micro USB cable are included), or externally via an optional Fuji or third-party battery charger. Personally, I recommend battery chargers (and batteries) from Patona (at least that’s how they are called in Europe, the US equivalent appears to be named Wasabi). Speaking of batteries, the X30 now uses larger NP-95 type batteries, the same as in the X-S1, X100 and X100S. They are supposed to last for about 470 shots, but that’s in power save mode, which is not recommended here. I suggest you always set the camera to high-performance mode and simply carry a spare battery.

Lightroom 5.6 (Astia)

The exposure compensation dial allows adjustments of ± 3 EV, which is the current X-camera standard. The threaded shutter button accepts a traditional cable release, but you can just as well remotely control the camera via an app or use an RR-90-compatible remote shutter release that plugs into the USB port. There’s also an HDMI output and a 2.5 mm mic input to record better-quality audio along with video. This audio input can also be used as another remote shutter release port that is compatible with Canon Rebel and many other camera models.

The hot shoe accepts flash units from pretty much all vendors, but TTL flash is still only available in concert with the Fuji EF-20, EF-X20 or EF-42. This will change with the advent of additional TTL flash options, though. Thanks to the camera’s leaf shutter, flash sync isn’t an issue and works with shutter speeds up to 1/1000s and beyond.

User Interface and Operating Experience

As can be expected from a third-generation camera, the X30 features a cleaner and more streamlined user interface. The macro button is now a simple toggle between normal, macro and super-macro modes (instead of opening a cumbersome menu). Information overlays in the display are less distracting and don’t obscure image corners, and there’s an on-screen AF mode indicator that shows whether AF-S or AF-C is currently selected. There’s also a distinct AF tracking mode in the DRIVE menu, thus avoiding confusion whether or not the currently selected burst speed is able to perform focus tracking.

Like in the X-T1, the information overlays in the EVF change when the camera is held upright. Even better, the color saturation of the EVF and LCD can now be independently adjusted in 11 steps, and there’s a new automatic brightness adjustment for the EVF that complements the manual adjustment. The real-time viewfinder is as large and fast as the EVF in the X-E2, and it also features the same resolution of 2.36 megadots. With a display lag of only 0.005 seconds, it’s certainly ready for action. Overall, the X30 is a pretty responsive camera (startup time: 0.5 sec., shutter time lag: 0.01 sec., shooting interval: 0.3 sec.), just make sure to use fast memory cards (UHS-I SD cards with 95 MB/s write speed are appropriate).

WYSIWYG has been improved, with the camera now simulating extended dynamic range settings of DR200% and DR400% in the live view and live histogram. That said, there’s also a new “RAW shooter mode” that displays a plain live view with minimal contrast and no application of film simulations and other JPEG parameters. This convenient option helps exposing the sensor to its limit, as there’s often 2/3 EV of highlight headroom that can be recovered with an external RAW converter such as Lightroom.

Click

The sample above was shot with DR100%. The crop on the left shows parts of the sky being blown in the camera’s JPEG engine (using Astia film simulation). The crop on the right shows the same part processed with the Astia film profile in Adobe Lightroom. The blown highlights could be recovered.

Exposing in manual mode features full live view and live histogram support. And using Auto-ISO in manual mode, you can now set the exposure compensation dial to bias the exposure. Yes, finally! On the other hand, those waiting for extended AE bracketing options beyond three shots will have to wait longer.

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The X30 offers three different configurable Auto-ISO settings (AUTO1, AUTO2, AUTO3) instead of only one, and similar to the X-T1 and X-E2, there are now seven custom user profiles that can hold parameters such as ISO, Dynamic Range, Film Simulation, White Balance, Color, Sharpness, Highlight / Shadow Tone and Noise Reduction. The seven custom settings (C1 to C7) can be directly accessed in the Quick menu in order to replace the current camera settings.

Speaking of the Quick menu: It still offers easy access to 16 frequently used functions or parameters, but it’s now fully configurable. You can assign any of the following functions to each of the 16 “bricks” in the Quick menu:

  • ISO
  • Dynamic Range
  • White Balance
  • Noise Reduction
  • Image Size
  • Image Quality
  • Film Simulation
  • Highlight Tone
  • Shadow Tone
  • Color
  • Sharpness
  • Self-Timer
  • Face Detection
  • Photometry (metering mode)
  • AF Mode
  • Flash Mode
  • Flash Compensation
  • IS Mode (optical image stabilizer)
  • MF Assist
  • Movie Pixel (video frame rate and resolution)
  • Movie ISO
  • Mic Level Adjustment
  • Silent Mode (Stealth Mode)
  • EVF/LCD Brightness
  • EVF/LCD Color

That should do, methinks.

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Performance

The X30 is a snappy camera with a fast hybrid AF system. Hybrid AF means that the camera automatically combines conventional CDAF (contrast detection AF) with fast PDAF (phase detection AF). Sadly, PDAF is only available with the nine central of the camera’s 49 AF frames (that’s a hardware restriction), so it’s only possible to predictively track a subject with one of the nine inner frames. Like the X-T1, the X30 isn’t capable of tracking a subject by automatically handing it over from one AF frame to the next, so you must keep your subject below your single selected AF frame in order to track it and continuously keep it in focus. With this method, tracking moving objects with AF-C and about 3 fps continuous shooting is no problem, since the real-time live view is always updating between frames.

AF-C Tracking

In the camera’s AF-S (Single shot autofocus) setting, the formerly useless Multi mode now displays several AF frames at once to tell you what parts of an image are in focus. This is actually quite convenient.

PDAF focuses instantly. There’s simply no way to for me to recognize a time lag between my half-pressing the shutter button and the camera confirming focus with a beep. CDAF takes a bit longer, but is still usable for moving action and (non-predictive) tracking. As of now, Fuji’s PDAF is looking for vertical lines and edges (or horizontal ones when the camera is held upright). It’s a smart move to help the camera performing well by looking for such lines.

Lightroom 5.6

Instant-AF (using the AF-L button to automatically focus in manual focus mode) now works with PDAF, too, and you can also change the size of the AF frames in MF mode. Except for AF tracking at 8 fps, the X30 offers the same autofocus features and options as the X-T1, plus a few extras, such as the option to couple spot metering with the selected AF frame instead of always metering with the center frame.

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Face Detection has been improved, as well, as the X30 is now using a user-selected AF frame as its fallback in case a face wasn’t detected. Older X-series cameras (including the X-T1) always fall back to the central AF frame. I guess a firmware update is in order?

JPEG Engine

When I recommended the X20 as a camera for RAW shooters, I specifically criticized the weak performance of its JPEG engine in DR400% mode. The X20 applies too much noise reduction with this setting, blurring shadow details to a mushy mess. Luckily, Fuji listened and the JPEG engine of the X30 is a vast improvement. Noise reduction is less aggressive, and the JPEG files are much larger than in previous cameras, including of course the X20. White balance and overall rendering have been improved, as well, and there is a new film simulation named Classic Chrome that has been inspired by older Kodak film emulsions. With its muted colors, it looks a bit like postcards from the 60s:

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Comparing the X20 and the X30 regarding their detail handling in DR400% mode, I shot two samples with each camera using the same settings and put crops next to each other. The X20 is shown on the left, the X30 on the right:

X20 vs. X30

Please click on the images to access full-size versions on Flickr. It’s hard to miss the improvements made by the X30’s JPEG engine.

As for highlight dynamic range, the JPEG engine naturally falls short of an external RAW conversion workflow. It’s often possible to extract 2/3 EV of additional highlight headroom with software like Lightroom or Iridient Developer. Diehard JPEG shooters will have to resort to DR200% or DR400% modes, which will retain one or two stops worth of highlights, but introduce more shadow noise:

SOOC JPEG (DR400%)

In order to simulate the shallow depth-of-field of cameras with larger sensors, the X30 offers a so-called Pro Focus mode that is highly automated and works with JPEGs only. At first, its results appear quite pleasing, but when you look closer, you’ll spot blurring artifacts at some of the edges:

SOOC JPEG (Pro Focus)

Pro Focus works by taking two or three quick shots in a row at different distance settings, then merging the images into one. Here’s another example:

SOOC JPEG (Pro Focus)
Image Quality

It’s best for RAW shooters to overexpose the X30’s sensor a bit, then pull back the exposure during RAW conversion. The new “RAW shooter mode” (it’s actually called PREVIEW PIC. EFFECT > OFF) can be quite helpful here, as it offers a better representation of the dynamic range that can be captured by the sensor. JPEG shooters can use the camera’s built-in RAW converter (aka JPEG engine), which also features the effective Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO) that automatically compensates diffraction blur that invariably occurs at smaller apertures (f/5.0 and higher in this case).

SOOC JPEG (ISO 800)

Using the camera up to ISO 800 poses no problems. Beyond that, noise may slowly become visible in larger prints depending on the scene. Luckily, the camera’s fast lens rarely requires us to use very high ISO settings. Instead, I sorely miss a built-in ND filter when shooting in bright outdoor light, as the X30 can only handle a maximum shutter speed of 1/1000s when used wide-open. Faster speeds can be enforced in shutter priority and manual modes, but at the expense of bokeh quality. I case you really need high-ISO performance, the camera offers a Pro Low-Light mode that takes several pictures of a scene in rapid succession and merges them into one while removing the noise differential. Sadly, this mode is JPEG-only.

Built-in RAW converter

Like all X-series cameras, the X30 features a built-in RAW converter that can be used to change all JPEG parameters after the fact (white balance, film simulation, contrast settings, sharpness, color, noise reduction etc.). Even better, you can also use it to adjust a shot’s exposure. In the following sample, the exposure was pushed up 2/3 EV:

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Movies

Video recording has been much improved, with full manual control over aperture and shutter speed during recording. ISO can be set manually or automatically, you can pick one of the X30’s eleven film simulations, and you can record full-HD with frame rates of either 60, 50, 30, 25 or 24 fps. Fuji specifies a bit rate of 36 Mbps.

Autofocus and manual focusing are both available during recording. Sadly, focus peaking isn’t possible during movie recording, only before you press the record button.

Lightroom 5.6
Conclusion

The X30 is currently Fujifilm’s most advanced camera, combining premium build with retro elements and a flexible and mature user interface. But is it worth 549 Euros incl. VAT? With X-M1 double-lens kits already selling for 100 Euros less than that, I expect the street price of the X30 to adjust downwards rather sooner than later. Yes, it’s a fantastic camera with great handling and performance, but it’s still a compact camera with a 2/3″ sensor. The IQ is great, but at higher ISOs, it can’t match Fuji’s entry-level APS-C cameras. That said, if the price is right, the X30 is a clear buy for those who are looking for a compact camera for grown-ups that doesn’t look and handle like a toy, but like something more substantial.

Fujifilm X30: USA: BHphoto / Adorama / AmazonUS / BestBuy /   EUROPE: wexUK / wexDE / PCHstore /

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Set with my X30 sample images: click here!

[UPDATE: if you want to read this first look in German, click here]

For your convenience, here’s a TOC with links to my previous X-PERT CORNER articles:

Rico Pfirstinger studied communications and has been working as journalist, publicist, and photographer since the mid-80s. He has written a number of books on topics as diverse as Adobe PageMaker and sled dogs, and produced a beautiful book of photographs titled Huskies in Action (German version). He has spent time working as the head of a department with the German Burda-Publishing Company and served as chief editor for a winter sports website. After eight years as a freelance film critic and entertainment writer in Los Angeles, Rico now lives in Germany and devotes his time to digital photography and compact camera systems. His new ebook The Fujifilm X-E2: Beyond the Manual is available at Rocky Nook.

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  • Mr_Electability

    Guest passes don’t work for some photos: can’t view all sizes, for instance (which makes the comparison shots rather pointless). I’m surprised you didn’t put all the photos into one set, and just provide one guest pass for that set. Am I doing something wrong?

    • All photos are in one set with one guest pass. Use https://www.flickr.com/gp/25805910@N05/YG427G

      • Mr_Electability

        Thanks. When I looked at it last night, the set wasn’t visible, and the guest pass didn’t work at all for some images (e.g., JPG v. RAW highlight comparison). Maybe too many people were going at once, & flickr hiccuped. :-)

  • siddu

    Not so very exciting. My iPhone camera is enough. I would look at higher end MILC cameras rather.

  • LivingImage

    Some interesting new features to the X series overall, that would be great to see on XT1 firmware upgrades and/or x-pro2.

  • Fly Moon

    What about the keys? are the responsive? or are they like X-T1?

  • Finally! Full manual control in video mode instead of the auto expose, different frame rates (24p, 25p, 30p, 50p and 60p), manual focus AND mic imput! Just wished it had a 1″ sensor instead of the 2/3″.

    But hopefully these feats will be passed to Fuji’s future cameras – and for what is worth via firmware update, although I’m not sure some of these feats can be included via firmware.

    I’m not so sure the video quality also stepped up but at least now you have the minimal, manual controls and framerate options!

    • Kaushik Parmar

      Indeed yes, this would be great move! But need to see sample video, my X-T1 is horrible in video, but X100 is solid in video. Good to see 24p is returned, and sure there will be improvement.

      • Yeah, there is a lot to improve from now on, the codec being one of those, it makes all the difference, if the colors are going to look mushy or if there will be fine details or not, how much info will be lost, etc. But another thing that can make a video look very ugly is rolling shutter, so hopefully they can work that out, you need higher frequency readouts. Anyway, at least this is a step in the right direction when it comes to video – although I thought that they would had implemented these last year.

        • I made a few initial tests, and video quality seems to have improved, so let’s see how a production camera with final firmware performs in this area.

          • Kaushik Parmar

            Can you please share those videos, I am much curious about it.

            Thanks.

          • No, we have to wait for production cameras. 20SEP, I guess.

  • Kaushik Parmar

    Rico Pfirstinger,

    Thanks for these photos, camera is looking sexy, but personally I would say, I do not like photos much, were these taken in hurry? Your previous album were awesome, means X-T1, X-E2 and Fujinon 56mm F1.2 and etc. You were not exited while using this new X30?

    And yes new CC is looking good, they add Aqua tone, sky look different color.

    Kaushik

  • Johnny

    Thanks for the first impressions. User Interface updates seem to be very nice, especially custom Q Menu. Any idea if this will become available for X100s via fw update? Would love to see these features on X100s.

    • Like the X20, the X100S is phasing out, so I’d expect to see these features (and a few more) in its successor.

      • Roy

        I thought that the spirit behind kai-zen dictated that older cameras continue to benefit from firmware improvements (when feasible of course). So why wouldn’t some of these new features trickle back to the most current model in its class?

        • X100S might certainly get Classic Chrome. X-T1 will get a major update in December, and there will also be a few surprises at Photokina. As for more updates: Every feature for older cameras is one new feature less for newer cameras, at least as long Fuji doesn’t charge for feature additions and can make firmware updates into a profit center.

          • nwcs

            I wish they did charge like $5 for significant features for the camera models. It would be fabulous for everyone. As long as each update is significant.

          • Yep, I am certainly advocating a pay model for new features in legacy cameras. That could help Fuji actually hire new firmware developers instead of firing them for cost saving reasons.

          • Tom

            The trick is to wait long enough so that early adopters are the only ones to enjoy the new features for a length of time. Then judiciously roll some features out for older models. :)

  • JaneyKay

    Thanks for your reviews .. I always enjoy reading them and would love to support the work that you (and others) do, but, I live in France and there is not a link to Amazon France. Hope you manage to get a deal there soon!

    This camera does look really interesting especially now with the tilt screen, better DR and more configurable Q menu. thanks.

    • Sorry to disappoint you, but I don’t get a dime from ads, links etc. on this site. You should click them to support Patrick and his rumor mill, though. There’s only one way to support me: buy my book or attend my workshops. Or just send a truckload of money in my direction. :)

      • JaneyKay

        oh :)

        • Patrick

          you can purchase Rico’s amazing books ;-)

          Regarding Amazon France and you’re hopes to get a deal there:

          Basically the only working FR-affilitaion with stores (and way to support FR) is set up in USA for now… and, as we know, in USA mirrorless is a niche market.. and Fuji is a niche of the mirrorless niche in the USA, therefore…

          … therefore it would be good to extend the affiliate network in Europe (& somewhere else). But it goes very slowly and I’m trying to do it with not so famous stores. In fact I just set up one with camerapro in Australia. If I get the occasion to affiliate with one in France, I’ll do.

          • JaneyKay

            OK well good luck with that. digixo.fr might be a good idea. Anyway “bonne chance” and let us know!

  • Tomáš Tuček

    Well, the image quality is nothing special, even lower than I expected – but these new features are really impressive, and most of them seem to be a pure software thing. If they get it into their CSC line, this would take them in another level (AF/AE frame coupling, exposure compensation in manual mode, direct change of focus area, complete and manual video control would be just right for the X-T1). I think the X has a interesting future, Fuji is thinking about their doing.

  • deng

    Fine camera but it will sell like X-S1 until the price is halved…

  • Dis

    Hey, Patrick, Rico and all those who commented and voted in kaizen update poll. We made it! I hope our poll affected Fuji little bit so they introduced these highly demanded features such as exposure compensation bias auto iso in manual, flash compensation to fn, configurable q menu and more and more. Fuji has to make one step further and introduce all these fantastic features to X-T1 via firmware update. And all older cameras, of course. I’m sure they will do it. That would be incredible. My X-T1 will become the best camera ever to me. If the rumors are right, we have to wait till November-December. Congradulations all!

    • Thanks. I remember asking for most the new features last November at a meeting with product planners from Tokyo I had in Munich. It usually takes 8-12 months for feature requests to be approved and implemented, so here we are. My next meeting is at Photokina, so lets hope we can add more improvements for 2015. Keep the good suggestions coming! X-T1 update is scheduled for December, Photokina will bring details.

      • Patrick

        Hi Dis! Seems that also all your work to create the ultimate firmware kaizen poll produced the expected fruits :-)

      • Geo

        If the wireless remote viewfinder for XM1 is possible at all, that would be a huuuge improvement! Thanks:-)

        • X-M1? Maybe, but there won’t be an update, I reckon. X-M1 is phasing out. X-E2 will get an update.

          • palmer

            And what about XQ1? Wireless remote control seemed to be planned when it was released but never happened…

      • The cat

        X-t1 this x-t1 that. Has the x-e2 been discontinued or something? Seems fuji and fuji commentators think so…

        • X-E2 update with remote access is also scheduled for December. However, X-T1 is newer and selling much better than X-E2. In my workshops, about 75% of the delegates are bringing an X-T1.

    • Patrick

      Hi Dis! Seems that also all your work to create the ultimate firmware kaizen poll produced the expected fruits :-)

      • Dis

        This could not be possible without FR readers of course)

        • Patrick

          that’s right… and it also wouldn’t have been possible without Fuji’s attitude to listen to customers and to feedback from photographers like Rico.

          • I remember the poll. The results and ranking was very similar to my own improvement list, so I guess there actually is a mainstream of what people want to see as new or improved features, despite many “exotic” requests that can be seen in photography forums.

  • Tomas Tran

    I have to say that the Rico pics conviced me that senzor size is not at 1st place …I like a lot those pics …mainly Velvia profile …good camera for very nice price(usd price for us EU is so tempting)

  • Bob

    I bought the X-T1 on Saturday and after reading this I am already second guessing my decision…

    Coming from an 8-year old Nikon D50, my priorities were:

    1. Lighter/smaller (so I actually carry it… my D50 just sits there)

    2. Better dynamic range

    3. Better low light performance, ie lower noise at high ISO

    4. Ability to autofocus quick enough to track my 8 and 5 year old sons

    Both this and the X-T1 would be a substantial improvement to my D50 in all of the above areas. The X-T1 will certainly beat this camera in terms of DR and ISO, but for $1000 less, the X-30 might have been good enough, especially since its lens is faster than the X-T1’s kit lens, reducing the need for high ISOs. And, there is no question this camera is much lighter and smaller than the X-T1 kit. In fact, this is probably small enough to go in a jacket pocket, which the X-T1 could never do.

    Ugh. At least this doesn’t have built-in GPS…

    • Kasparas Visockas

      No! Don’t compare these! First of all, the sensor inside of the x-t1 is much larger and that means that it is better in low light, image quality and detail. You can’t compare the apertures either, as on a larger sensor there is a different correspondance. Don’t bother yourself, you made a great purchase, now enjoy, your camera will catch up in all those features soon with an update ;).

      • Bob

        Thanks for the reassurance, Kasparas. There is no doubt the X-T1 is a significant upgrade over the X-30 in terms of IQ. I simply meant that, for $1000 less and in a much smaller package, the X-30 may have been “better enough” for my purposes.

        Basically, I am concerned that the $1700 X-T1, will not fit in the messenger bag I carry while working, meaning it will get left behind. The new X-30, on the other hand, could possibly even fit in my suit pocket.

        Perhaps I just need both :)

        • Kasparas Visockas

          I know what you mean… But hey, the x-t1 isn’t that chunky either! Lens in one pocket, body in another. :)

          • X-T1 with 27mm pancake is probably the size of the X30.

          • Luccio

            Are you serious ? Can’t believe that ! I didn’t see the dimensions of the X30…
            And thanks for this great preview.

  • So I’m guessing the X100T is similar to this? I wouldn’t mind a APSC version of this camera.

    • Kasparas Visockas

      Sure it is, and as it will be a T version of the x100, my guess is that it will be weather sealed – just like the T class of the X series. Maybe it won’t have an OVF either.

      • Randolph_Knackstedt

        It will definitely have a hybrid viewfinder. It’s one of the most loved features for X100 users. I never would have purchased one if there had been no OVF.

        • Kasparas Visockas

          I understand. :)

  • X100User

    For me, all well with this camera, but what a waste with now so many
    bigger-sensor compacts all around!! anything less than APS-C depresses
    me…. Fuji stop beating about the bush, come around to your core group
    of users….

    • Confused

      Well that is why there’s x a1/xm1, xti, xe2, x100s etc. no need to be depress life is too short.

  • holian

    Hello,
    Thank you for this ‘first-look-introduction’!

    I would like to ask your advise. Earlier i used Nikon D7000. I sell it
    becasue i don’t have much time. Now, i would like to photo my baby like
    this (http://goo.gl/5zGBAw or http://goo.gl/PNi55Y).
    What do you think, is it suitable for this? Or the sensor and the lens is too small for this type of photography?

    • Doable, but a larger sensor helps. Most important for these shots is the lighting, not the camera.

      • holian

        Thank you. (maybee i try to get an X20..i think i don’t need the new improvements of X30 to take photos from my baby/familie.

        • MJr

          Good idea, the X30 improvements are mostly in extended features and control, battery life etc. But for what you’re asking the F2.0-2.8 lens, is the more important aspect and hasn’t changed, just like the on-sensor PDAF and xtrans low-light performance.

      • Exposure is key, the skin tones have to be in the right zone. Luckily, that’s easy now with wysiwyg M mode, live view, live histogram and spot metering. I think almost all my sample shots were taken in mode M.

    • Shouldn’t be a problem at all. Just look at my own baby shot in the sample images, very similar to what can be seen in your link. The only issue you can encounter with a compact camera is too little subject separation. It’s not a 56mmF1.2 on an X-T1.

      • holian

        Could you provide me a link to your “baby shot gallery?” What do you mean with “subject separation” ?

  • Kasparas Visockas

    Out of topic, but:
    Anybody knows if i can directly update my new x-e2 from the first body software version to the latest, without getting the updates of in-between?

  • Kl223

    it´s simply to big for the small sensor. other cameras have 1 inch sensors that offer better quality and they are smaller too.

    • Roy

      How do you know that those other cameras offer better quality than a yet to be released model?

      • Peter Seller

        iit has the same sensor as the X20 if you noticed….. think before writing next time.

        • Banjo Bill

          what about the jpeg engine?

          • MJr

            Much improved over the X20, especially foliage.

        • The sensor only has so much to say about IQ. Photography nerds are obsessed with sensors. The sensor is just one part, and Fuji is very dedicated to improve the processing of the signal every year. Seeing the differences in color, white balance, rendering and detail reproduction between the X20 and X30 is quite interesting. To me, the X30 shots simply look nicer right out of the box.

          • rantanplan

            Just wait one more year, and X-Trans produces colors as good as the X100 always did. :)

        • Roy

          So every camera with the same sensor has the exact same IQ? I now see why you felt the need to be pedantic.

          • Didn’t you know that all cars using the same engine are equal and offer the same driving experience? ;)

      • The issue with the Sony 1″ sensor is: no PDAF, no X-Trans. Fuji originally planned an X30 with Sony’s 1″ sensor. Then they made an internal concept comparison in early 2014 and decided to go the 2/3″ route again. Mistake? Maybe.

        • Arnold Newman

          Nice overview as usual, Rico. Can you expand on this particular comment? No PDAF is self explanatory. No X-Trans is not. Can you not put an X-Trans color filter on top of any sensor?

          I’m also curious if you would agree with those that seem to imply that there is a minimal practical difference in IQ between a 2/3″ sensor and the 1″ Sony sensor. It surprises me when knowledgeable people suggest that this size difference doesn’t matter. That hasn’t been my own experience—though I cannot speak to this particular camera.

          • I doubt I or others can even see a relevant IQ difference between 2/3″ and APS-C on their iPads or Retina-Laptops, that’s a width of 2880 pix and usually the maximum resolution we can display. There will be better resolution with 4k displays, but as long as the displays don’t grow larger, that won’t matter much, either. Pixelpeeping is mostly irrelevant in the “real world”. When I send images to other people or post them online, nobody wants me to post huge full-size JPEGs or TIFFs, and they certainly aren’t inclined to inspect them to 100% or higher. They just look at the content, the colors, the white balance. That’s everyone can see at any resolution.

            The real difference between 2/3″ and APS-C is shallow DOF. The X30 simply can’t emulate the look of a 56mmF1.2 on an X-mount camera. But neither can the RX100 or any digital compact camera. At least, the X30 offers Pro Focus, that’s why I covered it with 2 examples. It’s a gimmick.

            Taken at equivalent apertures, I doubt that many viewers can tell an X30 shot from an X-M1 shot on Flickr, Facebook wherever images are viewed these days. You certainly won’t notice when you print them on an Instax. ;)

          • Arnold Newman

            I agree with everything you wrote, Rico, but why set such a low bar when considering this question? Computer displays are low resolution devices. Certainly if an image is viewed small enough at low enough resolution it will look fine and you won’t be able to perceive IQ differences. But is this what most photogs really envision as the final output for their best images? Even though most of my images will only be viewed on the web, my favorite images are printed huge on paper or aluminum. You can see every detail, good and bad. This is why I want the very best IQ I can achieve in every circumstance. I never know when that “hero” shot will come—or what camera I’ll have with me.

          • People who print large don’t buy compact cameras. Heck, even I pretty much never print, and I have 3 Merrills that can easily compete with a D810 or A7r. Fuji sells premium compacts to “normal” customers who want a sturdy, nice looking travel compact with great IQ from the JPEG engine. Obviously, the X30 is better in the pixel-peeping department than pretty much every compact in the market, with the exception of one Sony model (or 3, if you count the older ones) that is much more expensive. It’s not like Canon, Samsung, Fuji, Pentax, Ricoh, Olympus, Lumix etc. haven’t sold any compacts since Sony came up with the RX100. Nope, there is still a market for compacts with smaller sensors than 1″. Not every compact sold is a Sony RX100.

            Not that I’d ever want to use a tiny 1″ camera if I wanted to shoot landscape stuff for large high-end prints. I’d rather grab an X-T1 or even better, one of my 3 Merrills.

          • Ratty Mouse

            You are really earning your Fuji pay here.

          • I just looked at Amazon pricing over here: The RX100 III currently sells for 828 Euros there. The X30 will probably start at 499 Euros according to my market sources. How people can even seriously compare these two cameras is beyond me. If you have 828 EUR left to spend, get an X-E2 with a kit zoom. Or a X-M1 with BOTH XC zooms and still almost 400 Euros left to buy an airplane ticket. Now THAT will give you great IQ and some real high-ISO headroom. Ah, it’s too big and heavy? Well, then the X30 is too big and heavy, as well, and it certainly wouldn’t become smaller with a 1″ sensor. So what’s the point, really?

    • nwcs

      And their bodies don’t offer the same features. But maybe it’s just not the camera for you? It might be perfect for other people. And I bet most of the buying public couldn’t tell you the difference between the two sensor sizes.

  • ipecaca

    Manual exposure controls in video mode, hurray!

  • ronin

    The previous X-10/20 had optical viewing, and you were able to see subjects live in real time.

    Now that you can’t see those objects live in real time anymore, but through the intermediary and inevitable delay of a processor and other electronics, Fuji advertises ” real-time live view.”

    • Bob

      I suspect they consider the 0.005 second lag time close enough.

    • MJr

      Real-time as in Exposure, DoF, Film-sumulation, WB etc, and even composition or ‘real-time’ 10x magnification. You can also review the images directly in the EVF, which is really convenient in bright sunlight when a back LCD is hardly visible. Try to do all that with the ‘real-time’ OVF .. No more bad exposures that you can’t redo, no more excuses. ^.^

      • Arnold Newman

        This is a very good point. As someone transitioning from a 5DIII, there is no question that the viewfinder in the X-T1 is not as useful as an optical version when dealing with fast action. Regardless of measurement hype, it just isn’t. But I have found that in the vast majority of situations the benefits of Fuji’s EVF outweigh the drawbacks. Live histogram and exposure simulation alone have resulted in fewer missed and mis-exposed shots. Viewfinder review is awesome. And DoF preview is far more useable with an EVF than an OVF (though this latter point may be less important with the 2/3″ sensor in the X30).

    • Peter

      I very much like OVFs as well, but considering that an optical viewfinder is rather small on such a camera and that EVFs have actually become kind of usable recently, I’m inclined to say an EVF in a camera like this may well be the better choice than a tiny OVF like on the previous model. I have tried neither first-hand, though.

    • Yeah, 0.005 is fast enough for me. Usually, I’m too slow, certainly not the camera.

      • Ivan

        I can’t even comprehend the practical meaning of that 0.005 seconds delay?

        Movies and TV are based on the fact that eye can not detect any change occurring faster than about 1/25 of a second (give or take, peripheral vision is a bit faster and so on), but 25 FPS is considered acceptable. People, that’s 0.04 seconds! Lag of 0.005 seconds is well out of our ability to notice anything. Even if we could it would require over 200 FPS refresh rate for the EVF.

        Thus, considering the EVF refresh rate coupled with our optical nerve and brain processing power limitations, 0.005 is for all practical purposes REAL TIME LIVE VIEW.

        • Rich

          You’re forgetting though that all the various electrical and human delays are cumulative. The X-E2, which I have and love (though it has a stuck pixel on the sensor, so it just got sent back to Fuji), has the same .005 second lag, and it’s noticeable. It’s very, very, very good, and it’s not at all a problem, but when shooting say motorcycle racing, it’s just not quite as good as an OVF.

  • chris

    I would never recommend this camera against the RX100.. This is even sensibly behind the RX100 which is an “old” camera.
    IQ is better with RX100, better for low light, DR, .. What else ??
    I won’t buy a camera just because there is a dial which is fun to use.
    Really too expensive (maybe 200 euros too expensive).

    • Confused

      And yet you still hang around knowing a few days in advance what the sensor size is? You must have a lot of time in your hands. How about putting your rx100 in use then?

    • djmuzi

      X20 -> expected 1″ sensor
      X30 -> expected 1″ sensor….

    • Héctor Muñoz Huerta

      Rx100 is cumbersome to use due to form (soap bar) and it’s color rendering is completely unnatural.

      The technical differences that render these cameras apart are almost irrelevant in practical use.

      • gr

        No, my friend Sony has improved the color on the RX100 III. I still like the X30 but not for what they are asking for it.

      • Arnold Newman

        “The technical differences that render these cameras apart are almost irrelevant in practical use.”

        If you’re arguing that the 1″ sensor does not enjoy an image quality advantage over a 2/3″ sensor my eyes beg to differ. It’s not for nothing that the RX100 series has come to dominate the
        enthusiast market for small compacts—and this despite questionable
        ergonomics, controversial color rendering and existing brand loyalties.

        • Héctor Muñoz Huerta

          Anyone would have a hard time distinguishing the resolution and noise advantage of the images coming out of these cameras if printed on a full magazine page.

          On the other hand ergonomy and better color rendition will actually help you in your photography in a more tangible way.

          • That’s the thing. I know a working fashion photographer who used an X10 and X20 for his shoots, with great results. Obviously, the files were sufficient for the task.

            Basically, the photo enthusiast market is like the car enthusiast market. It’s totally off the mainstream. People obsess. They “need” a car with 600 hp, because it’s obviously “better” than the car with “only” 400 hp. So there’s a difference of 200 hp (factor 1.5, just like the crop factor between APS-C and full-frame, what a coincidence), but is the 400 hp car really so much worse/inferior to drive to work? Could it even be that the 400 hp car is more comfortable, easier to handle and, of course, cheaper? So your mileage may vary, literally.

          • Ratty Mouse

            A fashion photographer using an X10? that’s HILARIOUS!

            What a joke.

          • Arnold Newman

            Oh, sure. I would accept that. To some extent it depends on what type of image you’re shooting. For example, a well lit model in a studio is going to be less demanding than a detailed landscape shot at first light. Still, in most cases you’d be correct.

            That said, a “full magazine page” is a relatively low bar. Your average sub-$100 6-color ink jet printer with middle-of-the-road photo paper is far more demanding of an image file than a spread in a magazine, right? And the bigger you print, the more obvious the differences.

          • Héctor Muñoz Huerta

            Possibly, but if you are going to go after big art gallery prints you should be shooting middle format. Any other use of images is less demanding than a full magazine page, especially in digital media.

          • Héctor Muñoz Huerta

            Yes but if you are in the business of big art gallery high resolution prints you should be using a medium format camera. As a graphic designer all I need is 6 megapixels to fill a full magazine page, everything else, including digital actually demands less than that.

        • Whether you need the improved resolution from the 1″ sensor depends a lot on how large prints you’re going to make. If only web sizes and photo albums? Oh, X30 is easily enough. Then I’d prioritize other features.

          Before deciding for an RX100, I would first go to a shop and hold both cameras since they handle in completely different ways and that will likely matter a lot for how you feel about shooting.

  • prankhet

    cool, exposure compensation in auto ISO mode! I hope this gets back-ported to previous models! and the jpegs are a lot better, looking better than lightroom for detail! if the camera jpeg engine can do it now, there is no excuse for lightroom not to eventually get this right! single push 4-way pad to adjust AF box. hot diggety. all sorts of user complaints have been addressed here, fujifilm must be hanging out in the forums.

  • Fujimon

    I think I really like that Classic Chrome. It seems to be just what I expected it to be. Now, when are we able to download this film simulation in our X-cameras? Any ideas? I WANT IT NOW! :)
    I think that Fuji should open this Film Simulation thing, that those who want, could create presets. Or then Fuji should create a preset-software where presets or film simulations could be created by anyone.
    People can create presets for Lightroom. Wouldn’t it be nice to create them straight for the camera? :)

  • hoglundtw

    Great review as always. Is the Llama/Alpaca shot supposed to be an action shot? :-)

    • The llamas thought it was the Fuji XXX30.

      • The llamas are all male, and it’s showing our llama being introduced into the Alpaca herd. The Alpacas then tried to dominate and overthrow the newcomer in order to establish that they outrank him. That didn’t work out, as our llama is much bigger. So the only sexual thing is going on in our dirty minds. ;)

  • nwcs

    The camera looks better than I thought it would be. The plain raw mode is very enticing to me, especially if it will make it into a future X-E3 or X-T2. It’s a solid camera. Obviously serial complainers and measurebators will complain about the sensor size but the reality is that this is a solid camera that gets a lot of things right. I’d rather have this than the soap bar Sony RX100 series. Sensor size is only a small part of the whole picture (pun intended).

    • Sinjun

      Sensor size may well be a small part of the equation *but* it is the part that has the most to do with poor performance in low light and/or at high ISO’s which will mean very little to some people but a lot to others depending on his or her needs.

      • MJr

        Really though, put some real-world samples next to those of a RX100 and which ones look better. Not just that, but which ones were more fun taking, or taken (properly) at all because of it (and the big battery).

      • nwcs

        You know, though, if you’re doing low light, high iso with a 2/3″ or 1″ sensor you’re already setting yourself up for disappointment. I fail to see the significant difference at this point. I’m not at all saying that the sensor is useless. I’m just saying keep it in perspective with the rest of the imaging experience. Overfocusing on one attribute and ignoring the rest is just silly.

        • Sinjun

          Completely agree that an X30 would make a great all around small camera for anyone that is in the market for such a thing but I would rather wait to see what Fuji comes up with for Fall/Winter 2014/2015 (like an XPro 2 for example) before buying a second Fuji cam for use as a main camera or as backup.

      • Actually, Pro Low Light mode produces very good high-ISO results (of course, Sony has a similar mode in their cameras). It already worked very well in the X20. I may take a few low light test shots later and post them in the sample album, but I am very busy this week. Photokina is approaching fast, so I have to do some “actual” work, too. :)

      • Arnold Newman

        Well said. It would be interesting to better understand the background of the folks who seem to want to minimize the IQ difference between these two sensor sizes. Maybe they shoot 8×10 sheet film for serious work and, to their eye, 2/3″ and 1″ sensors are both shite. Legitimate perspective. Or maybe they’ve spent most of their time shooting with their iPhone and either sized sensor looks great to them. Understandable. Maybe their Fuji camera is like the child they never had and everything it does is great. Or maybe there really is a minimal difference between the IQ of this implementation of a 2/3 sensor and Sony’s 1″ sensor—but only Rico would know that right now.

        • Sadly, I don’t, as I don’t own or use Sony cameras. I like Sony sensors, though. I faintly remember a thread in a German photo forum that compared the XF1 with an RX100. Initially, the crowd was convinced that the XF1 wouldn’t stand a chance, I mean 6 MP EXR vs. 20 MP, are you kidding? Then some folks who had both cameras posted comparative samples of the same scenes, and in the end, the tide had shifted, as many viewers preferred the Fuji versions. IQ is much more than resolution, there’s color gradation, white balance, dynamic range (EXR was pretty good at that).

          Online or on my iPad and laptop, I can see color gradation, white balance and dynamic range in any image size. Resolution is something I can only judge when I am pixel peeping a full-size image, which I rarely encounter. And why should anyone pixel peep other peoples’ images, anyway? I mean, really? When I see a nice or interesting image on Facebook or Flickr, I may look at color gradation, white balance, dynamic range, and of course at the content. I don’t ask the user for a full-size version to magnify it.

          • Arnold Newman

            I have to admit that I never thought of higher resolution as being one of the advantages of a larger sensor; though as resolution has increased over the years I have personally found it very helpful for both cropping and large format printing. I certainly agree that an image file which exceeds the resolution of your monitor isn’t necessary for online viewing.

            The advantages I would expect from using a 1″ sensor, DoF aside, are better dynamic range and lower noise. I wonder why Fuji could not take a 1″ Sony EXMOR sensor and use it to achieve the same basic look [IQ] they’re getting from the 2/3″ sensor—only with lower noise and better dynamic range. I’m guessing that they could and that the answer lies elsewhere. You’ve provided a couple very legitimate reasons in other comments: lack of on-sensor PDAF for one.

            One last point about image quality. People want to compare the X30 to the RX100, inviting comments about color palette, etc. That comparison is relevant in the real world when shoppers have to make a choice between these two cameras. It’s not sure why it is relevant to the what-could-have-been question of X30 with 2/3″ sensor vs X30 with 1″ sensor. An X30 with a 1″ sensor should have had the exact same IQ as the X30 with a 2/3″ sensor—except with lower noise and better DR. After all, the APS-C X-bodies do use a Sony EXMOR sensor beneath the X-Trans color array.

          • It’s pretty mundane. An X30 with 1″ and a bright lens (24-70mm equivalent) and all the features of the current X30 would have sold at about the same price as an X-E2, certainly more expensive than a Sony a6000. Fuji didn’t want to compete with a compact in this price range, so existing plans of an X30 with a 1″ sensor were eventually dropped. I didn’t like this change of plans (many others didn’t, either), as I was very happy with a 1″ version, but I’m not the target audience, either.

            To me, the situation is pretty clear: The street price will start at around 500Euros incl. VAT and eventually drop to a level where the camera is very attractive, especially when compared to a much more expensive Sony with a much less powerful EVF. “Normal” people like the looks and handling of the X10/20/30, but they don’t want to pay a fortune for a travel compact. As soon as it can compete in the 400 EUR market, it will be a very attractive choice and sell pretty well. That’s nice for customers, maybe not so nice for Fuji, as they might not make much (or any) of a profit, just like they are now pretty much giving away remaining stock of X-M1 kits. Then again, it was their choice to go this route.

            Since I am actually using the X30, I can confirm that it’s a great 2/3″ camera, certainly the best ever made in this category, with features that surpass the X-E2 and X-T1. Personally, I am glad the problem isn’t the camera, it’s just the price. 3 years ago, Fuji’s problem was the cameras (lacking essential features, perfoming slow etc.).

            Fuji didn’t change the sensor in its third incarnation of the X10, but neither did Sony in its third RX100. Sony’s sensor isn’t new at all, it’s third generation of the same thing, exactly like the sensor in the X30. So basically both companies stuck to what sold in the past, innovating other parts of the camera. Both companies put in a new EVF, with Fuji’s version being way superior. Fuji also put in predictive tracking PDAF, Sony couldn’t do it, it’s still non-predictive CDAF all the way. So Sony improved the lens instead, while Fuji didn’t want to give up 112mm telephoto and kept the old design.

            In any case, both cameras look completely different, feel completely different and have a different price point. So I’m not really sure if they are actually competing outside the “photo forum freak show”. I also happen to be the founder of a large German frequent flyer forum with millions of page views per month, and I have already seen someone opening a thread on the X30 over there, with people drooling about the design, it reads like they can’t wait to buy it. So far, nobody mentioned sensor size.

          • It’s pretty mundane. An X30 with 1″ and a bright lens (24-70mm equivalent) and all the features of the current X30 would have sold at about the same price as an X-E2, certainly more expensive than a Sony a6000. Fuji didn’t want to compete with a compact in this price range, so existing plans of an X30 with a 1″ sensor were eventually dropped. I didn’t like this change of plans (many others didn’t, either), as I was very happy with a 1″ version, but I’m not the target audience, either.

            To me, the situation is pretty clear: The street price will start at around 500Euros incl. VAT and eventually drop to a level where the camera is very attractive, especially when compared to a much more expensive Sony with a much less powerful EVF. “Normal” people like the looks and handling of the X10/20/30, but they don’t want to pay a fortune for a travel compact. As soon as it can compete in the 400 EUR market, it will be a very attractive choice and sell pretty well. That’s nice for customers, maybe not so nice for Fuji, as they might not make much (or any) of a profit, just like they are now pretty much giving away remaining stock of X-M1 kits. Then again, it was their choice to go this route.

            Since I am actually using the X30, I can confirm that it’s a great 2/3″ camera, certainly the best ever made in this category, with features that surpass the X-E2 and X-T1. Personally, I am glad the problem isn’t the camera, it’s just the price. 3 years ago, Fuji’s problem was the cameras (lacking essential features, perfoming slow etc.).

            Fuji didn’t change the sensor in its third incarnation of the X10, but neither did Sony in its third RX100. Sony’s sensor isn’t new at all, it’s third generation of the same thing, exactly like the sensor in the X30. So basically both companies stuck to what sold in the past, innovating other parts of the camera. Both companies put in a new EVF, with Fuji’s version being way superior. Fuji also put in predictive tracking PDAF, Sony couldn’t do it, it’s still non-predictive CDAF all the way. So Sony improved the lens instead, while Fuji didn’t want to give up 112mm telephoto and kept the old design.

            In any case, both cameras look completely different, feel completely different and have a different price point. So I’m not really sure if they are actually competing outside the “photo forum freak show”. I also happen to be the founder of a large German frequent flyer forum with millions of page views per month, and I have already seen someone opening a thread on the X30 over there, with people drooling about the design, it reads like they can’t wait to buy it. So far, nobody mentioned sensor size.

    • Arnold Newman

      Though I wouldn’t use the derogatory terms “serial complainers and measurebators” to describe users who prioritize IQ above everything else, I do have to agree that this camera will be a good fit for many shooters.

      • First, “measurebators” is hilarious.
        Second I’d only apply it to noise-obsessed people. The fact that you won’t get shallow DoF out of this camera isn’t about being fussy, it’s about recognizing reality and appreciating the difference between a camera like this and a f/2.0-2.8 camera with an APS-C sensor (which would be wonderful and insane).

        • Arnold Newman

          I’m not sure what your point is, jeremy, if your comment is directed at me. I haven’t seen anyone specifically mention DoF. And in this particular exchange no one is arguing that a using a 1″ sensor with twice the physical area of a 2/3″ sensor wouldn’t improve image quality. nwcs has said that the improvement in IQ wouldn’t be worth dealing with the ergonomics of the RX100 series for him personally. Who can argue with personal preference?

          As for DoF, you absolutely will get more subject separation with a 1″ sensor vs a 2/3″ sensor. And, yes, both pale in comparison to a APS-C sensor which is likewise viewed with disdain by owners of full frame DSLRs. :-)

          • FWIW I wasn’t directing my comment at you in particular, but at the idea that only someone “who prioritize[s] IQ above everything else” would complain about sensor size. DoF presents a completely separate reason to want larger sensors, and it would apply regardless of the low-noise/high-dynamic-range properties of large sensors.

            In my case I don’t want to carry any camera (other than my phone) unless it gives me creative DoF control. Without that I’d rather just live with my phone (which excels at deep DoF for landscapes).

            The most physically unavoidable effect of sensor size is “equivalent aperture” and the extreme deepening of DoF on small sensors. The choice isn’t just about image quality, it’s more like the difference between a zoom camera and a wide-angle-only camera: It’s about having all options open.

            I have a friend who does fancy-pants fine-art photography at university and uses huge format film cameras. I asked about DoF and she actually said to me “you can never have enough”. I laughed because it’s the exact opposite of how most digital photographers feel. For MFT/small-sensor/kit-lens shooters you almost always “have too much” DoF.

            Personally I find APS-C a “sweet spot” in terms of DoF. Big enough that you can throw out a background with a fast portrait lens, but small enough that you can still use the light-gathering capacity of a f/1.4 lens while keeping more than the eyes in focus.

            Anyway, for any given type of photography/photographer there is an ideal range of DoF that is needed and feasible. For a lot of serious amateurs this new X30 won’t be able to compete because the sensor is too small, even if the photos are noise free and beautiful. For others (landscape photographers? Macro amateurs?) this will be the ideal X camera, with it’s fast apertures that still give deep DoF to get the whole mountain or insect in focus.

            Overall though I suspect there are a lot more people who would buy the X30 if it had shallower DoF than there are who will buy it, but only because it doesn’t.

          • My thoughts, too. For me, it’s more about subject separation than IQ. IQ is perfectly okay for 95% of what need. That’s there isn’t really a compact camera with a look that resembles a 56mmF1.2 on an X-T1.

          • Arnold Newman

            Gotcha ;-)

  • Sinjun

    Wow. Hats off to Fuji for so many new features and improvements but it’s disappointing to see that the X30 doesn’t have a larger sensor. Hopefully some of the X30 features will be in the next XT-1 firmware update.

  • Indy

    No touch screen again

    • Well, remote access offers touch screen control. :)

      • Yay for Wifi remote on all cameras going forward, but it doesn’t replace touch screen for focus point selection. Hopefully the multi mode will finally be useful enough that people won’t need it as much.

        Of course, Fuji never gave us a reason to expect a touch screen, unlike Sony who puts it on their “NEX 5” class cameras but inexplicably leaves them out of the “NEX 6” class ones.

  • Pierre

    I am a bit puzzled by the position of the EVF, as it is not left enough in order to avoid to have to squeeze the nose on the screen!

    • nwcs

      Kinda DSLR like to me without the hump. Seems as good a place as any.

    • The nightmare of “noses squeezed on LCDs” is a bit overblown in my experience. Wipe it off boys, that LCD is noseproof!

  • specLegacy

    Have they fixed the View Mode functionality, so that you can choose a different view mode for shooting and playback? (i.e. EVF only for shooting, LCD for playback).

    • IMHO this isn’t something they should prioritize. The desire for it is mostly caused by us being trained to chimp on DSLRs. Why don’t you just use the EVF to review images? It has a better resolution and is less affected by the light around you.

      If anything they just need to improve the speed/bugginess of what happens when you try to chimp on the back right after taking a photo (which is super buggy on my X-E1, but I assume faster and more stable on newer cameras). It should seamlessly transition to between EVF and LCD which will give you the effect you want.

      • specLegacy

        True. The main issue is that on the X-E2, the menus will also only show up on the EVF. Would be nice to have EVF only for shooting, but then be able to get to the Q-menu and have it appear on the LCD

        • Okay so you want EVF-only mode to have a fallback, where pushing the Q or “play” buttons effectively switches you back to “view mode: auto”. That’s not a bad idea actually, since in a lot of situations people would be pleasantly surprised by the effect maybe without even noticing that it violates the underlying rule.

          Might bother people who depend on the EVF-only mode as a stealth tool (e.g. not being a jerk at concerts by ensuring the LCD never lights up).

          IMHO the two big issues with EVF are 1) the cameras where the button gives you a menu instead of directly switching, they should never do that! 2) The need for a battery-conservation EVF only mode that shuts off the EVF when you aren’t using it, but still doesn’t turn on the LCD. I forget if that’s a feature in some of the cameras, but it would be a good buried option for all of them.

          • specLegacy

            Yep! I used to have an X-E1. With that camera, I could set shooting mode to EVF, playback to Eye Sensor. During shooting, only the EVF is on, but when I hit the playback or menu buttons, the LCD would come on, unless the camera was up to my eye, in which case it would still use the EVF.

            The X-E2 does have the nice EVF+eye sensor mode, which shuts off both the EVF and LCD unless you have the camera up to your eye, which I haven’t had a chance to use much since it forces me to use the EVF for menus, too. Hard to fiddle with the buttons when the camera is up by my face. Also not sure what or who I end up pointing the camera at when I’m actually just reviewing pictures… could make for awkward moments :)

    • There was nothing to fix. Unlike the X-E2, the X30 has a View Mode button.

      • specLegacy

        So even when using EVF only for shooting, the menus will still appear on the rear LCD? That’s good to hear. Hope they’re able to implement this somehow on the X-E2

  • Joseph Camosy

    Camera too big. Sensor too small. I’ll keep my RX100.

    • Rick

      I’m happy that it did not have a 1″ sensor, otherwise I might have a severe case of buyers remorse for my purchase of the RX100M3 for my upcoming trip to Europe. I was looking forward to the X30 but now, from my perspective, it was a case of too little, too late. Either Sony would not sell the 1″ sensor to Fuji or Fuji was unwilling to pay what Sony was asking.

      • John H

        good lord … and you know this HOW?

    • I also wish the sensor was a bit bigger. Would be great to have something like the X100s but with a zoom lens.

  • DouglasGottlieb

    Nice camera, but as long as they were doing small Kaizen, they should have weather sealed it.

    Now where’s the X100Tilt? :)

  • Fly Moon

    I would avoid the first batch. Remember X10, X100 and X-T1?

    • gr

      yeah, the first batch on any Fuji is cursed it seems.

  • adventure photo

    I guess I do not understand the point of this camera? Small sensor, lower resolution, not that small of a camera, not that light(422g), not weather sealed, 12 MP non-updated sensor, etc. If it had a larger sensor and a more compact body with more resolution with weather sealing it would certainly be more competitive. I’d definitely choose the Sony RX100 III over this any day.

    I’m not trying to bash the camera, I just don’t see the point of it.

    • If someone likes Fuji’s cameras for their style, the image quality and the emphasis on natural controls then this camera makes a lot of sense. Sure it’s not tiny like a lot of point and shoots, but it’s a hell of a lot smaller than an X-E2 with the 18-135mm lens on it. Even the 18-55mm makes the APS-C X cameras really heavy and unwieldy.

      I’d be very tempted by this camera if I hadn’t already decided to lug around a full X-Ex system. Can’t wait for the X-E3 to come out with all these new improvements so I can stop complaining about the “quirks” of the X-E1 :P

      • adventure photo

        You make some excellent points Jeremy! I just wish they would have put a larger, higher resolution sensor in the camera then I’d be lusting after one too! I’m sure the X30 has all of the rest of what I like about the Fuji X cameras. I hope it turns out to be successful and gets great reviews. It is quite exciting in the Fujifilm world! Can’t wait to see what else is revealed coming up and also looking forward to those upcoming firmware updates.

      • Yes, while I’ve been hoping for a move to a 1″ sensor here, there’s no doubt that the handling of the X30 is _completely_ different than that of a RX100, if I extrapolate from the X20 I’ve held before. Handling a RX100 is like handling a thin bar of soap at times. It can be hard to know how to even best hold the camera.

        Still, I’m concerned that the X30 will have a hard time since users often focus on spec sheets more than those unmeasurable characteristics. Unfortunately. Since it’s the latter which decides how fun you’ll have shooting, and inspiration is a cornerstone of photography, easily taking the spotlight from things like a slightly stronger bokeh effect. There are world famous photos from wars and other history; they aren’t known for their technical excellence. They never are.

  • Mariusz Gajdzik

    How doest the video codec look? Is it more usable that the other x cameras?

    • I think so, but I am no expert for video, and unlike other bloggers, I don’t pretend to be something I’m not. ;) I’d rather leave that part to someone with plenty of Fuji video experience, if such a person even exists. I am sure someone will shoot comparative X20/X30 samples once production models are available.

      • Mariusz Gajdzik

        I don’t think video on fuji was too good so far, we will see how it looks like on this camera… Thanks for the reply!

      • Jan Sunde

        Rico, any hope of you putting in a good word for manual focus aids (peaking etc/split view) *during* movie recording for the X-T1 update in December ? Why they would implement it only BEFORE starting recording is puzzling to me – too processor heavy ?

        • That’s not gonna happen. There are probably technical reasons that prevent peaking from working during recording, but I am speculating. Maybe in one of next year’s cameras. I’ll bring it up at my next meeting.

          • Jan Sunde

            Wow, thanks! Split view or magnification would work just as well, I guess, perhaps easier to implement?

  • Arnold Newman

    Wow. Fuji’s responsiveness to customer feedback is impressive. Fuji has addressed so many of the little niggles I have with my X-T1 that I just pray these features trickle down via a firmware upgrade. The improvements in manual mode shooting alone would be huge for me—particularly the ability to adjust the size of the focus square when in manual focus mode using AF-L. The relatively large rectangle I am stuck with now has proven to be a PITA.

    That said, I’d love to know why they still haven’t modified the 1-stop bracketing limitation. Is it stubbornness or is this just much harder to accomplish than one would think? Maybe it’s just at the bottom of the priority list. I have to admit that the improvements they have made are all more important to me than this particular issue.

    • Really feels like they’re listening eh? Most of my biggest complaints are solved either directly (auto-brightness) or indirectly (configurable Q menu).

      Makin auto-ISO work in manual alone will be a revolution for me, similar to the revolution (before my time) when they added configurable minimum shutter speed to the auto-ISO feature. I suspect I’ll make good use of the multiple ISO configs too.

      Rico I have a question about one of my biggest complaints: Is this camera any better at switching from “focus point selection” mode to “focus zoom mode”? It always killed me that we have to go back to “normal” mode between the two, since they are so clearly related and I almost always want to use one right after the other.

      • No change.

      • I will put this on my list for improvements, though. I will talk about it to the Japanese product planners at Photokina. To me, this sounds like a valuable improvement.

      • Ratty Mouse

        I’m sure customers have been asking for no battery charger for years. Thank god Fujifilm listened! Oh and where’s the larger exposure bracketing people have been asking for, yelling for, ever since day 1 of the X100?

        Sure, Fujifilm listens.

        • I have specifically been asking for an internal charger for years. Imagine if our phones required us to take out the battery to charge it? We’d hate that and the same is true for cameras. With this one you can just plug it into USB now and then.

          3rd party batteries are cheap. I got 2 batteries and a charger (“wasabi” brand) for like 30$. A USB charger to my X-E1 isn’t available at any price.

    • Jerry R

      Yes, why not a wider bracketing range.? I would want at least +/- 3 ev or at least +/- 2 ev. +/- 1 ev is not good enough for HDR. While we are at it can we change it for my X-T1’s also?

  • Wayno

    I would miss the OVF. Had the OVF (a feature that made x20 truly unique) been retained, this one would have been a no-brainer for me. The addition of the EVF really forces comparison with the RX100III; its hard to see the x30 doing well in that arena.

    • Rich

      Have you used the OVF on an X10/20? It’s good for an OVF on a compact camera, but pretty rubbish compared to anything else. As an X10 user, an X30 with EVF with magnification, resolution and refresh of an X-E2? Yes please!

      • Yep. Can’t use the OVF for AF tracking, you need precise control of the AF frame position (and size) for that. So an EVF is mandatory. Not to mention that it is now all about wysiwyg. The latest Fuji models all manage to give a very good preview of the end result, with the X30 (and following models) taking it to a new level, including DR simulation. And then there’s the new RAW mode. I now shoot 90% of everything in manual mode M. This is only possible with a correct live view simulation and a correct live histogram. The X20 has neither in mode M (not even on the LCD), so it’s out of my consideration.

        • Bill Burke

          I just got an X30, how does one access the Raw Shooter’s mode? I can’t find it is the manual anywhere. And to use it(once found) must you be using just “Raw” or can you use “Raw + Fine Jpeg”, which is what you once recommended.

  • Realfi

    Yeah wow, that RX100III looks sure looks fantastic! All the features, 1″ sensor, no contest, they’ve slayed Fuji, now where’s my credit card…. Oh, hang on, it’s a much more expensive camera! ….

    A lot of the cameras people are comparing either don’t offer the same features such as a zoom AND a viewfinder (a must if you shoot in the year round bright sunlight I contend with) or they’re cameras that are in a different price bracket. SO Apple > Apple comparisons in the same price range what is a better buy?

    Oh, and as an X20 owner I’d gladly trade the 80% view of the OVF for a non laggy fuller view EVF. As I said I want to be using the viewfinder almost all of the time outdoors in particular.

    I think that for someone who had similar criteria to what lead me to purchase an X20 and a similar budget the X30 is a good choice. Your criteria may differ, but you ain’t everyone.

  • I for one love the new Classic Chrome look! Man, Fujifilm just keeps nailing the “feel” in those JPEG modes. They seem to look the most similar to Pro Neg Hi photos, but with different, warmer, colors. I hope we’ll see this in firmware soon for their other cameras!

    • X-T1 will certainly get CC. Other models, I don’t know. X100S possibly. In principle, it should be possible to put it into all cameras with an EXR II engine.

      • adi

        It would be shame not to update the X100S with this filter. Same goes for interval shooting. Camera makers should be consequent and systematically update cameras until they reach hardware/system limits. Do I understand right that in this case it would mainly be a “strategic” marketing decision?

        • Intervalometer update is a go for the X100S. So CC may be included in this update.

          • adi

            FAN-TAS-TIC, the intervalometer is what I was waiting for – especially as there is no way to do this externally on the X100S :)

  • Adamant

    Extremely minor question: Is the silver finish the same as the X20’s? It looks more matte in the pictures, which would be a shame. The silver on the X20 really looked classy.

  • idefixx

    rico, it sucks being sponsored by fuji and having to write half-enthusiastic reviews about disappointing cameras as in this case, doesnt it?
    the burden of a paid PR person without getting a PR salary i guess…

    • I am very sorry that Fuji declined your kind offer to preview the X30 for them in your blog. I understand your frustration and wish you better luck next time.

      • idefixx

        i got no blog and enjoy my independence. no need to sell my soul for nickel and a dime and a copy/paste camera that is 2years late

        • So do I. On second thought, your “contributions” here sound like you aren’t enjoying anything. They sound quite bitter. I can sympathize, though.

          • idefixx

            oh so u now u r the forum shrink analysing contributions? i thought until now u were trying to hide behind your laughable “independent contributor” profile…
            but seems you r just a cheap copy/paste of your uebervater KR after all…

          • You still don’t sound very happy. Keep going! Let it all out!

          • Please

            “Get a life.”

      • idefixx

        but happy for u if u van make a living on this, there are plenty of house wives that fall for the x30. and in all fairness you do a good job in reviewing the best out of a non-event

  • Dario Lopez

    I have been a good boy all year and thus have the money to upgrade. This camera seems almost too perfect for me. It’s cheaper than the X-a1 and 27mm I was looking at, and with a bigger sensor than the pentax q10 I’m still happily shooting on now. To get the same sort of open zoom range I’d have to cough up another $500 for the 01 and 06 pentax lenses, so I can spin this as a economization. I wouldn’t mind of course, if Fuji lowered the price between now and the Sept. 30th.

  • chupala

    DOES anyone knows if with the control ring of the lens, we can (manual) focus in aperture/shutter priority ?

    *in manual mode, and manual focus mode, we can, but in aperture/shutter, what?

    this is almost essential in street photography!

  • Stephen

    I am slowly warming to the idea of the X30, I have a X10 and would welcome the better video functions and the ability to fit an external mic! Will see if and when the price drops!

  • Ratty Mouse

    All that money for this camera and NO charger. Pathetic.

  • Daniel Szablewski

    looking forward to X30 as a companion to my X100s. This will be my ‘take everywhere’ camera. would be good if the price came down a bit, say to $499 level.

  • V. Roma

    Great and detailed first look by Rico. I had been looking forward to the X30 but I have to admit that I am disappointed by the lack of a 1″ sensor. It is interesting that, to me, despite everything coming out from Photokina in terms of compact cameras, there is still nothing that quite offers the same package as the X30 in terms of features and handling. The LX100 does not have a tilting LCD or manual zoom ring, the RX100 is an ergonomic and haptic mess in general in my opinion, other micro 4/3 compact cameras will have much less compact and/or much less bright lenses, etc. Unfortunately, having tried the X20, I personally find the 12MP 2/3″ sensor simply not good enough for my purposes. I will wait and see what the next iteration of this line brings, if there is one.

  • jurievandyk

    Dear Sir, thank you for the great post, by far the most information I have been able to find on my new x30- -If you don’t mind me asking, when I try and open the fuji RAW files in Lightroom, it says unsupported format. How dit you manage to do RAW conversions in Lightroom with your X30. Have you had any trouble with the Remote App, mine does not connect. The Receiver app does work though, thank you, best Jurie

    • Thank you!
      Remote Control worked fine during my test (iPhone, iPad, OS 7).
      As for Lightroom support, as you can see on Flickr, I simply changed the EXIF data to X20.

      • jurievandyk

        Rico, thanks so much for your promp reply, I think the remote app problem might be iOS8 related. I know you are not tech support, but would you mind explaining to me how to change the EXIF data to X20 in lightroom. Thanks so much for the great work you are doing on this blog.

        • I bought an EXIF editor named “EXIF Editor” in the App Store.

          • jurievandyk

            That worked like a BOMB!! Thanks for the fix, I so appreciate it.

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